Oakland MLK Demonstration: Chained Protesters Shut Down Federal Building

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Oakland, CA

Friday in honor of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., protesters holding signs reading “Third World for Black Power” and “Global Resistance Against Police Violence,” chained themselves together and blocked the entrance to the Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building in downtown Oakland.

The demonstrators, according to SFGate, shackled themselves for four and a half hours to symbolize the amount of time Michael Brown laid on the street in Ferguson, Mo after he was fatally shot by police officer Darren Wilson in August. The grand jury’s verdict last November concluded that Wilson shot Brown in self defense. That decision has precipitated riots and demonstrations across the nation for the last two months.

After the demonstration ended, access was restored to the building on Clay street that houses many federal offices. Protesters wearing tubes covering their arms which read, “3rd World Unite” and “Silence is Violence,” hugged each other and cheered loudly.

According to SFGate, the protesters believe that the USA oppresses blacks and citizens of third-world countries and they were there to honor King’s “legacy of struggle and internationalism.” A group known as the Third World Resistance issued a statement that read, “By engaging in this action, we want to make clear that as long as this war continues, there will be no business as usual.”

Forty-year-old Micah Frazier of Oakland explained why she was at the demonstration: “I think it’s important that we’re in action and in the streets. That is our first demand: that police violence stop.“

Breitbart News reported that protesters chained themselves to Bay Area Rapid Transit trains on Black Friday delaying commuters traveling to and from work at the West Oakland train station. Moreover, in December similar “chaining protests” took place at Police headquarters in Oakland as well.